1. Configure DNS servers
Use the Google DNS or OpenDNS servers instead of your isp dns servers. It can make your internet a bit more smooth. Configure the network connection and setup Google DNS servers or OpenDNS servers
126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52 184.108.40.206 · 220.127.116.11
Either one should be fine. I prefer using Google DNS servers.
2. Update and upgrade the system
As usual, the first thing to do is to make your system uptodate. Go ahead and use the following commands.
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade
The upgrade process can take few minutes depending on your internet connection speed, so be patient and let it complete. Once done, you may want to restart your system.
3. Install aptitude and gdebi and synaptic
Aptitude is a powerful alternative to apt-get when you need to search for packages from terminal. Gdebi can be used to install deb files quickly as it automatically pulls in all dependencies from the repository. Synaptic is the ancient package management tool that is still powerful and useful today.
sudo apt-get install aptitude gdebi synaptic
4. Install Yakuake dropdown terminal
Being a linux user you would be using the terminal quite often. So get the Yakuake dropdown terminal that makes a terminal drop from the sky the moment you press a button.
sudo apt-get install yakuake
Next you need to configure Yakuake to start everytime Kubuntu starts.
Go to System Settings > Workspace > Startup and Shutdown > Autostart
Click Add Program and select Yakuake from the list.
5. Install Chromium browser
Chromium is the open source version of Google Chrome. And it is believed by some to help protect privacy, though it is not known for sure.
Its available in the repository. Go and get it
sudo apt-get install chromium-browser
Known Bugs - There are certain bugs with Chromium on Kubuntu. The minimize+maximize+close buttons on top right may go out of view when the browser window is maximised.
For more details check the following link
The bug is possibly caused by a package called libunity9 and removing that package will fix it -
sudo apt-get remove libunity9
However removing that package will remove apps like Pidgin that depend on it.
To get flash support in Chromium install the pepperflashplugin-nonfree package. You may want to skip installing flash as fewer and fewer sites are using it and moving to html5 video support.
6. Install Pidgin
Pidgin is the most versatile chat messaging app that works with most common protocols including gtalk and irc. Install it from synaptic
sudo apt-get install pidgin
As mentioned in the previous step, installing Pidgin can cause certain problems with Chromium browser.
If you intend to use pidgin only for irc chat, then try Konversation. Its a kde based irc chat client that works quite well.
7. Install the Roboto fonts
The Roboto fonts are used by many of google websites and some other websites. They are available in the repository.
sudo apt-get install fonts-roboto
Other than that, you can also install the roboto fonts using Typecatcher font installer. It will pull in the fonts from Google web fonts repository.
8. Fix the Show Desktop widget
The Show desktop plasma widget has a quirky behavior on KDE. It brings you to the desktop, but does not properly minimise all windows and leads to some unpredictable and unexpected window behavior.
To fix this issue, check the previous post here -"Show Desktop" widget not working properly on KDE/Kubuntu 16.10 - Fix it
9. Disable un-needed Background services
Go to System Settings > Workspace > Startup and Shutdown > Background Services
See the lower box labelled "Startup Services". Uncheck the ones you don't need. For instance, on my desktop machine, I disabled Accounts, Bluetooth, Drive Ejector, Print Manager, Touchpad.
Be careful with what you disable. Otherwise some necessary functionality might stop.
10. Fix Libreoffice appearance
In case you disable desktop effects and compositor, Libreoffice applications might look awful on KDE.
The icons would appear ugly, and partially invisible. To fix this, remove the libreoffice-kde package and install the libreoffice-gtk3 package
With the gtk3 integration, libreoffice would look much nicer
sudo apt-get remove libreoffice-kde
Next install the gtk3 integration package.
sudo apt-get install libreoffice-gtk3
Go to Tools > Options > Libreoffice > View and change Icon Style to Oxygen.
However, if you continue to use desktop effects, then libreoffice should look nice.
11. Install Okular pdf viewer
I noticed that Okular is not installed and pdf files are opening up in Libreoffice for editing.
sudo apt-get install okular
You also have to right click a pdf file and change the File type options and configure it to use Okular when opening pdf files.
12. Install more wallpapers
By default Kubuntu has only one wallpaper. Get more wallpapers by installing the following packages
sudo apt-get install kde-wallpapers-default kde-wallpapers
13. Fix theme of gui apps running as root
If you run any gui app using kdesudo, the app might not use your theme settings and appear different. This is due a bug in kdesudo as reported here -https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=353263#c7
The same link shows a workaround to fix this. To launch any program using kdesudo use the following command -
kdesudo -c "KDE_SESSION_VERSION=5 KDE_FULL_SESSION=true dbus-launch dolphin"
To change the theme settings for root user, launch systemsettings5 with kdesudo and make the changes.
kdesudo -c "KDE_SESSION_VERSION=5 KDE_FULL_SESSION=true dbus-launch systemsettings5"
The command is lengthy, and you might want to create an alias for it.
14. Disable Apport
If you want to get rid of those annoying, crash notifications then disable Apport.
sudo nano /etc/default/apport
And set enabled=0
Save the file and restart apport
sudo restart apport
Or you can restart your system.
You can completely remove apport with the following command -
sudo apt-get purge apport
15. Tweak Fonts
Kubuntu 16.10 uses Noto Sans fonts by default, which look good. You can make them look even better by enabling antialiasing and hinting.
Go to System Settings > Appearance > Fonts > Fonts and configure. Set "Use anti-aliasing" to Enabled and configure the subpixel rendering as RGB and hinting style as slight. Apply and close.
Now the fonts should look even better.
So if you know of any more useful tweaks to make Kubuntu better and more useful, do let me know.